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Love Them Big

Brayden’s better. Phew! He still has a bit of a cough, and still has 7 more days of antibiotics and breathing treatments… but he slept through the night last night! Yippee! I am so happy his night went well, because when he sleeps, Mommy sleeps. And when Mommy sleeps, it is just so much easier to function during the day (after, of course, I have my coffee).

I know when he starts feeling better because something in him switches from being the completely lovey, snuggling, I-just-want-to-sit-with-Mommy boy, to being a little more energetic (both physically and verbally). The last two days have been tough emotionally – for me. I know every child goes through an “I hate you” phase (I’m pretty sure I topped the list for the number of times I said it to my parents), but boy does it sting when it’s your little two-year old, and all you want to do is take care of him and make him better. Probably doesn’t help that there has been huge gaps of necessary sleep in our house (for everyone), and that darn little thing called PMS, but still, it hurts when your child says nasty things to you. Makes you want to cry – which I did.

I am counting on today being a better day. I’ve had my (first) cup of coffee, I’ve showered and washed my hair (mmm, smells like rosemary and mint!), I’ve eaten breakfast, and Brayden has taken all his morning medicines. Toys are precisely scattered on the floor, Mickey Mouse is singing on TV, and hey, I got to sneak away for twenty minutes so I could write this really quick (well, I almost got through this post without having to get up).

I want to say, thanks to my husband for bringing me a wonderfully tasty mini lemon tart (one of my favorite sweet treats), thanks to Zackery for making me feel better two nights ago when all I wanted to do was cry my eyes out, and thanks to my best friend for giving me a card with a giant hershey’s kiss! I accept all your acts of kindness and cheerfulness. :)

Parenting is hard. I know that. I believe it’s the hardest when they actually need you the most – like when they’re sick. My boys are great boys, but sometimes they will say or do hurtful things. I know not to take it personally – I just keep having to remind myself. Someday (in a really, really, really long time from now – that will seem to come much too quickly) they will not be so little anymore. So while they are small and young, I will love them big, with all my heart, every single day… even if it makes me cry.

Popcorn and Pita Chips

Yes, that is exactly what I had for dinner tonight. Oh, and one piece of cauliflower that I stole off of Zack’s plate to make myself feel a tad bit “balanced” at the dinner table. Popcorn, pita chips and cauliflower.

Brayden is sick again – really sick. We spent about four hours today between the doctor’s office, going to get a chest x-ray, back to the doctor’s office, and then to the pharmacy to get his  prescriptions filled (which took two huge paper bags for them to put them in – I felt like I was stocking up for the end of the world or something… but no, it’s all for my little boy). He has bronchialitis and RSV. At least it’s not pnemonia again – which he’s prone to. And at least he is happy when he’s sick. That makes it a little (a teeny, tiny little bit) better. The poor guy is so tired from barely sleeping for the past two days. The last time he got solid sleep (more than 20 min without waking in a fit of coughing) was Monday’s nap, where he slept a good hour and a half. He was so tired he fell asleep on the way to the doctor’s office this morning, and then I felt so bad having to wake him up. But again, the poor guy smiled through it all.

I’ve been bribing him with M&M’s to take his medicine. It started with the tylenol a couple days ago for his fever. He used to love the stuff (which I’m not sure is entirely a good thing), but now he just says “yucky!” I don’t blame him – liquid medicine has never really tasted yummy to me. So, he gets one plain M&M after each round of medicine… until today, when I had to give him one after the breathing treatment at the doctor, another after the motrin at the doctor, another after his chest x-ray, two in the pharmacy while we were waiting for his prescriptions to be ready, four more in the car while we were waiting for Zack to get out of school, one so I could take his temperature, one after his nebulizer, one after his antibiotics, and two more at “dinner” (his consisted of one bite of cauliflower – which usually he would eat a whole head of – and two pieces of popcorn) with his final (um, final for the next four hours) dose of motrin. I brushed his teeth twice tonight in an attempt to scrub off all the sugar.

Needless to say we are a little exhausted in this house. Even Zack seems extra tired, and I can understand why since he and Brayden share a room and Brayden’s been coughing for most of the past two nights. I’m surprised I’m actually functioning enough to write this post… I guess I couldn’t let a good title like that go to waste. :)

I’m hoping Brayden sleeps tonight – so that the rest of us can too. I know he’ll be fine… it just might take a day or two for everything to really kick in so his little body can fight this off. In the meantime, I have a very cool excel spreadsheet I created to keep track of all his meds. Not too happy about why I need it, but glad I have the skills and the mindset to create it. With my lack of sleep the last thing I need is to forget what to give him when. I really hate dosing him up on all kinds of medicines, but I honestly tried the homeopathic and essential oils route and it just wasn’t doing the trick like it usually dose.

Okay, before I start rambling in my sleep here… signing off. :)

Super Saturday

Well, it’s Saturday – did you guess right? I mean, the title is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. I can’t think of a snazzy title, so it’s going to just remain at “Super Saturday,” which in fact it IS.

Today’s been great. I got out of bed about 7:30 – WAY earlier than I usually do on any weekend day (but I heard a big thump and thought I should get up and see who fell off of what). As the boys had their breakfast in the kitchen, I snuggled with a cozy corduroy blanket on the couch, enjoying the coffee that Will so wonderfully prepared for me (I made it easy for him when I bought a Keurig last Christmas – no excuses now!). I watched a couple of cooking shows on Food Network (Barefoot Contessa and Giada – two of my favorites), and got inspired for what I’m planning on making for dinner tonight (a variation on Giada’s risotto with kale, bacon and leftover chicken).

After a nice warm shower where I actually washed my hair AND shaved my legs – I know, right? – I left the house ALONE to run some errands. Went to the post office to mail a copy of my book (was inspired to send one to the 100th person who liked my Facebook page – and after I received a book from my fellow blogging Mom friend, Kenya G. Johnson, for answering a question correctly in one of her posts… which happened to be about movies and the answer was Mater in Cars2 - and after having read her entire book last night… yes, I was again inspired), and bought a dress for a black-and-white formal banquet next weekend where my husband is getting an award for work. (So proud of you Will! All those late nights are paying off.) I’m really excited we get to be all dressed up like real adults!

I came home to a quiet house with Brayden already asleep for his nap (honestly, I was not expecting this to be the case – but I was happily wrong). Zack and Will were playing Lego’s on the floor. I made myself a yummy grilled cheese and avocado sandwich, then plopped myself on the floor with a map (the instructions) to help Zack re-build (for the bazillionth time – yes, I just made that word up) all of his cars, trucks, jeeps and other imaginative Lego vehicles.

Now, all three boys – this includes Will – are at the park and I, once again, felt inspired to write about my perfectly super (and have I mentioned, inspiring) Saturday. All I hear is the tumble of the clothes dryer and the clacking of the computer keys. The sun is shining inside the house, I’m happy to have the house to myself for a bit, and I’m happy to just BE happy.

Practicing Patience

PatiencePatience is a virtue.” Whoever said that must not have had kids – or maybe they did?

The past few months I’ve been telling myself that I am practicing patience – for many reasons (the first one being the most obvious in the plain fact that I have two young boys who don’t comprehend the idea of urgency, as in do it now – unless it is of course something they want, need or have to do, see, eat or grab).

The second reason being that it’s not the “right” time to start my business (Love & Mommy Hugs). It’s kind of crazy, because I’ve had this passion, this calling digging inside me for quite some time and to have to stuff it back in doesn’t seem fair. But I stop, take a moment and remind myself the WHY of what I’m doing.

I’m a stay-at-home Mom. I love being a stay-at-home Mom. I (hate is too strong a word) often sometimes resent being a stay-at-home Mom. There are so many things I want to do. So many people I want to help, to inspire, to heal. I want to do it NOW! (I hear that a lot, so it’s really okay if I say it too). Then reality strikes and whispers in a soft scream “patience, my dear.”

Yeah, yeah, patience. Here’s what I have to say to you, Madam Patience: I will wait my due time, but in the meantime I will prepare myself so that when the time is “right” (and when is anything ever the perfect right time? I mean, really?) I will be ready to pounce into the world with all I’ve got. I’ll be ready to speak, ready to lead, ready to share. I challenge you oh mighty Patience… okay, feeling a little over-dramatic right now but what the heck, it’s my blog. I can pretend I’m all that. *wink* *wink*

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m glad I’m home every day with Zack to help him do his homework, and to be proud of how much he is learning. I’m glad I get to play Thomas and all the other fun, imaginative things that Brayden comes up with daily. I’m glad I get to capture cuteness in both my boys on a regular basis with a billion pictures of exactly the same pose. I’m glad I remember the why of becoming a stay-at-home Mom. But sometimes I just get antsy that I want to get my stuff going. I don’t want women to suffer through what I went through. I know there’s a need and I know I can be part of the solution.

Patience. Yes, I know… patience.

To top things off, today as we are driving home from school at approximately 3:08pm, stuck behind the usual line of cars pulling in and pulling out after picking up their own kids, inching forward one by one until it is our turn at the stop sign, properly stopping at a safe distance from the halted school bus down the street letting it’s one last child out and waiting responsibly until that one child reaches the open door of his house, greeted by no one other than I can assume is his Mom or Dad…. Zackery has to pee. What?! “Mom, go faster I really have to go and I can’t hold it!” To which I calmly (well, I was freaking out inside but didn’t want to let on that I was afraid he was gonna pee his pants) replied, “Just hold it 2 more minutes, be patient.” :)

The Daily Special

Thankful ThoughtsThis week I am dedicating to myself. It’s all about me, me, me. Sounds a bit selfish I know, right? Wrong! I am a true believer that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others. I dole out this advice quite often, but it’s a lot harder to follow it.

As I was relaxing during my massage today, I was thinking of all the things I have planned and scheduled to do for myself this week. I’m actually quite proud… and pampered. :)

Yesterday, in prep for today, I ate a good dinner, passed on the wine, and avoided the remaining scraps of sweets tempting me from the kitchen. This all after a pretty fun day hanging out with Brayden while Zack was back to school.

Today is day 1 of a 3 day juice cleanse. I’ve never done one, but have been wanting to try one for quite some time. I did some research, decided that after the holidays was a good time to start (hey, I wanted to enjoy my Christmas feast and New Years champagne), and found the best option for me. So far, the juices are pretty tasty!

Tomorrow I will continue on my juice cleanse.

Thursday is my final day, and also a day of volunteering in Zack’s classroom. I missed doing that over the past two weeks while he had winter break.

Friday is date night and Will and I are going to see Les Miserables. I can’t wait! It has always been my favorite musical, and I am excited to see it as a movie.

Saturday I have an all-day retreat with my Cranio Sacral Therapist (have I mentioned how much I LOVE going to see her, and how much she is helping me?).

Sunday is family day with no concrete plans – just the way I like it.

I’m feeling pretty good (partially due to the massage, and the facial that followed) that I am doing something good for myself every day this week. A daily special, if you will. It feels nice to put myself first, without feeling selfish.

I challenge you, what will you do today, tomorrow, the next day… to take care of YOU?

Farewell to the Old, Bring on the New!

It’s the end of the year (not the end of the world). Farewell 2012! Goodbye all those unpleasant happenings. Goodbye stress, fatigue and exhaustion. Goodbye sadness, anger and frustration. Goodbye and good riddance!

Hello 2013. Welcome! Hello happiness, joy and love. Hello fun, spontaneity and celebration. Hello health, beauty and energy.

I am ready for a new me. I am ready to change. I am ready to start fresh and feel good – in ALL ways. So I say to 2013: BRING IT ON!

Cheers to a Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!

Play-Dates Motivate

It’s the end of the first week of winter break. Zack has two weeks total off school. Will had Monday and Tuesday off work, so essentially it’s a three-day week for the boys and I. Thank goodness tomorrow is Saturday again! Thank goodness Zack has a friend over for a play-date right now. Not so much to keep him busy on his own without asking me a billion questions every two minutes (he got a total of seven new Lego sets and he plays with them non-stop; not complaining…). It’s Brayden that’s the one who has been pushing my buttons. My thinking is that the dynamic between Zack and Brayden get’s pushed to the limit when the two of them are together for such long, extended periods of time (um, yes, they are brothers, so one would think they are used to being together… but, they are brothers, so they are used to pushing the limits as well – yay for me!).

Anyway, as always, there is an endless list of things that need to get done on a regular basis (laundry, dishes, planning for dinner, etc.). I am happy to report that those duties are complete (or well underway and in progress), for today at least. The dishes are done, the dirty clothes are being agitated in the washing machine, I know exactly what I’m making the boys for dinner (I’m cheating a little bit because Zack has several left-over options and Will and I are actually going out tonight – date night – woo hoo!), and most of the toys have migrated back into the play room.

I currently have three boys in the house. I must say, more often than not, it is so much easier having three over just two! Not saying we’re going to have a third – nope, we are DONE. I guess the beauty in the play-date is that it actually motivated me to get stuff done. It’s easy for me to sit on the couch with a blanket and the remote when it’s just my boys at home, but when it’s some one else added into the mix, I feel compelled to pause the laziness and actually check a few things off my list (even if it does mean they’re back on the list in a couple days). Accomplishment.

Yes, play-dates are great. I love them. And next time, it’s at their house! :)

Smiles and Cuddles

It’s December 21, 2012. 12/21/12. Supposedly it’s the end of the world. I don’t believe it is. I am not judging those that believe otherwise, I just choose to believe our world has a long journey ahead, with endless peace and happiness to come. What happened last week in CT was devastating. Heartbreaking. Horrific. I can’t imagine how those families are feeling with the loss they suffered. Honestly, I don’t know much of the details as it’s been too hard for me to watch the news or read about it. I would rather fill my mind with joy, but I also don’t want to be naive.

Both my boys are in school today, so I actually have a minute to myself – to breathe and stretch and think. Today, I am choosing to stay positive and light. I am choosing to listen, but not get sucked into the conversations around me. I am choosing to focus on Christmas with family and friends.

Both my boys have their Christmas parties at school today – and I can’t wait! Brayden, bless his little heart, has had a hard time in the mornings being dropped off at preschool (even though it’s only 2 days a week), but I know he has so much fun because at home all he talks about is his new little friend and his favorite teacher. Today, however, he was actually excited to get in the car and go because of his Christmas party. It made me smile to know he wanted to go. When we got there his favorite teacher immediately greeted him and, as usual, picked him up so I could get on with my day. Is there a little Mommy guilt in there, well, of course, but I know he’s in great hands and enjoying himself throughout the day.

Zackery and I waited in the car for a bit before going in to his school, as it is CRAZY windy here today. Luckily it was indoor recess so we only almost got blown away for a few minutes while walking from the car to the front doors of school. And then, it was varying degrees of happiness, worry, fear, anger and everything in between. Again, I listened, vowing not to be naive, but I chose to keep a smile on my face and keep my strength front and center for my boy.

As his bell rang, I walked Zackery to his Kindergarten class, helped him get settled, gave him a giant hug and even a kiss (I am also blessed that I can still do this in front of all his friends!). I’m going back later in the day to help with his party, organizing a holiday craft for the class. I’m anxious. I love to volunteer in his class, but I also just want to be with him – even if just in the same room.

I am sad about the tragedy last week. I am angry about it. I feel empathy. But I also won’t let those events change the wonderous holiday that is just right around the corner. Christmas. I am happy to have the most beautiful tree we cut down as a family. I am happy to have the stockings hung and decorations all over the house. I am happy to have the scent of pine lofting through the air. I am happy to have presents under the tree. I am happy to be blessed with the best boys a Mother could ever ask for (99.9999% of the time).

When today is over and the boys are getting ready for bed, I will wrap them up with the most special smiles and cuddles a Mommy could give. That is what I am most happy about.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, keep smiling – the world needs peace and joy.

Happy Christmas Boys

Happy Christmas Boys

A Few Loose Screws and an Ice Pack

One might assume that when speaking about “loose screws” I might be referring to the state of my mind. I can’t blame those thoughts from appearing, as it seems totally logical that I might have a few loose screws rattling around in this brain of mine, much like a broken bag of marbles on a freshly polished floor, just rolling along to nowhere in particular. However, these loose screws that I am referring to today happen to be the six giant titanium screws I had surgically removed from my knees just five days ago. Ouch! I know!

Thirteen years ago I had pretty major knee surgery – both knees (not at the same time – gosh that would be CRAZY! – nothing like the double knee surgery I JUST had…) in which they drilled my bones and screwed them back into place, three screws in each knee. Most recently, they had been bothering me quite persistently and I chose to have them removed, which in similar patients to me, is quite common. It was a “minor” surgery – if there really is such a thing. I still had to be prepped (which included the fasting of any and all foods past midnight and no liquids past 4am – ah, that part wasn’t so bad. I made myself a grilled cheese and avocado sandwich at 9:30pm and drank enough water before I went to bed so I wouldn’t wake up thirsty; I’m surprised I didn’t leak like a sieve during the night), and I still had to go “under.” That part is always a little sketchy for me. It was my fourth time (once for each knee way back when, and then once when I had my wisdom teeth pulled), but I was still quite nervous – understandably.

Anyway, I won’t bore you with details or gore you with anything else, but I will share that I am sitting here now with an ice pack on each knee, because yes I was CRAZY and did them both at the same time. Everything went great, normal procedure, and I even got to keep the screws (which I was planning on taking a picture of for this post – don’t worry, they’re fully sanitized – but that would involve actually getting up, hobbling to the kitchen to get the camera, hobbling back into my bedroom to take the picture, hobbling into the office to download the picture to my ancient – a.k.a. slow – computer, and then hobbling back around the house to, well, to just hobble some more). Needless to say, there will be no photo to go with this post – please accept my humble apologies.

Okay, where was I – this percocet must be kicking in… Oh yes, I am sitting on my bed with my laptop, ice packs on my knees, thankful that it all went well and that I am able to hobble around without the old-lady walker (no offense meant there) and even for the first time, no crutches today! It is a milestone day today. I can walk! I will admit, slowly, v e r y  v e r y  s l o w l y, but I can put one foot in front of the other and move forward – or whichever way I so choose to move. It’s kind of metaphorical. Baby steps. One foot in front of the other.

My boys have been great through all of this. All three of them. Will has really taken care of me and taken care to see that I’m taken care of. And he’s gotten a bit of a taste of taking care of the boys all by himself (as I hid in our bedroom passed out on pain killers for the first two days). Zackery has been super helpful too, and comes running in every morning and after school to see how I’m doing and to just say he loves me. Bless him I think I’ve heard more “I love you’s” from him – and from Brayden – this past week than months combined. I do truly feel loved. I’ve had a babysitter the last two nights to help me with bedtime since I still don’t have strength enough in my left leg to pick Brayden up, let alone stand up with him after rocking him in the chair for bed. He has been sad and wanting Mommy to put him to bed and rock him, but he has been wonderful in letting the babysitter do it and understanding that it wouldn’t be so good for Mommy to fall down and drop him – nope, not so fun!

So with baby steps I progress – to full mobility of my legs, and to full potential of my purpose in life. One foot in front of the other. And if every now and then I have to remove some loose screws, well then so be it.

Bedtime Battles

Oh, another bedtime that ends in Mommy (me) apologizing for screaming and yelling – mostly directed towards Brayden these days. I hate it. I hate feeling angry when it’s supposed to be all loves and cuddles and tucks into bed. Bed-time has become Battle-time.

I try to stay calm – because I know they feed off of my energy. I try to be fun and silly to distract from whatever is happening that shouldn’t be. I try… that’s all I can do, right? I’m a good Mom, I really am. But tonight I am just TIRED of yelling at bedtime! It isn’t fair to me, it isn’t fair to Brayden, and it isn’t fair to Zackery (who unfortunately gets to hear everything that – as mentioned above – is mostly directed at Brayden).

They are both in bed now, and bless Zackery for understanding it’s not all him (partially, yes, but minimal – at least tonight’s battle), and calmly climbing into bed and going to sleep. Brayden is still squirming around in his crib. I can hear the creaking of his mattress springs. He wants to be rocked some more. But I already did that!

I know it won’t last forever – me having to rock him – but I’m getting tired of that too. The one thing that I tell myself is that he won’t want to be rocked in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years – so I better get my rocking in now. At least I was conscious enough to have us all take deep breaths (mainly so I could calm myself down) before lights went off and I sat down in that perfectly worn-in sage green rocking chair, with Brayden’s head nestled into my left shoulder, his arms tucked under his tummy. Okay, yes, this image… is making me feel better. Another deep breath…

Bedtime battles. I know I’m not the only one who has them. And I KNOW they won’t last forever. Zackery is my example of hope. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect, he still knows how to press my buttons, but compared to last year, or 5 years ago when we had to sleep on the floor next to him just for him to go to bed – yes, I have high hopes!

It’s quiet now. Just the clicking of my keyboard as I type this and the gentle humming of my outdated laptop. I think I’m going to go prop my feet up and finish off the last little bit of Chardonnay. Cheers!

Oops… spoke to soon…

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